Author's Notes: I have this weakness for dance scenes, and I managed to get one in here that's been running around in my head for awhile. Enjoy! Many thanks to Heidi, who came up with the plot line and many of the details of this story, though it mutated somewhat from what we originally discussed.
"You want us to what?" Vic exclaimed.
"Pair off," The Director repeated. "You know, as in form a permanent relationship with someone," she glanced sharply at Mac, who simply shrugged and raised his hands as if to say 'don't look at me'. "In case you haven't noticed, boys," The Director said condescendingly, "The Agency has been trying to find some way of...improving morale among its agents."
"That would be a problem, since you blackmailed them into joining," Mac said sarcastically, but he glanced at Li Ann as he realized abruptly that he didn't know how she'd come to work for the Agency.
The Director went on as if he hadn't spoken. "The Agency awards, the memo regarding hobbies... Those were our previous attempts. Now, the Head has finally figured out that it isn't working. So he set a couple of psychologists on the problem, and they came up with this absolutely brilliant idea of pairing off the agents." Her sarcasm was not lost on her favorite team. "Thus it falls to me to impose on you a 48 hour deadline. In two days, if you come back here without a significant other, we'll give you one."
"You can't force two people into a relationship," Mac protested.
The Director raised an eyebrow. "Watch me."
"We need to talk," Mac said, grabbing Vic by the arm and hauling him out of the meeting.
"What about?" Vic asked, bewildered.
"Li Ann, of course," Mac replied.
"What's Li Ann got to do with anything?"
Mac sighed in exasperation. "Because we were both engaged to her at one time or another, Vic. It wouldn't be too hard for either of us to go back to that, right?"
"Exactly. Meet me in half an hour at The Phoenix."
"Why the delay?" Vic demanded.
"It's a club, Vic," Mac said, rolling his eyes. "I'm not going dressed like this," he plucked at the subdued dress shirt and slacks he'd worn to the meeting. "A half hour. The Phoenix. We'll talk."
"Right," Vic agreed, shaking his head and heading to his truck.
Vic arrived before Mac, claimed a table and looked around. It didn't take him long to see that there were as many same sex couples on the dance floor as mixed. He shrugged and decided not to make an issue of it. "Hey, Vic," Mac greeted him, and collapsed into the chair opposite his partner. "I realized on the way here that Li Ann might not be an issue between us at all. I mean, I don't really know whether or not you're seeing someone."
"I'm not," Vic commented simply. "You?"
"Nah," Mac said. "Nothing serious anyway. You must have noticed how hard it is to get anything going with a woman when you can't tell you what you do for a living, or where you spend most of your day, or what led to this rather unusual situation."
Vic nodded ruefully. "Oh, yeah."
"Which is what makes Li Ann such a good prospect, I guess," Mac continued.
"Except for the fact that she's dumped both of us," Vic pointed out, sipping at a beer. They were leaning together over the table to be heard over the loud dance music.
"Hey!" Mac protested. "She thought I was dead! That doesn't count as dumping."
"Sure," Vic allowed, "but I'd say the fact that pretending to be your wife turned her off the whole concept of marriage counts."
"Yeah, well, it put me off the idea of marrying her, too," Mac muttered.
"What?" Vic asked, amazed that Mac would admit that to him.
Mac shrugged. "I've pretty much figured out by now that Li Ann and I are totally incompatible. I mean, she's never wanted what I have. I only got her out of Hong Kong by catching her in a fit of rage against Michael. As far as I know, she might even have joined the Agency voluntarily. Sure, I love her, but like it was in the beginning, with the Tangs - as a sister."
"I guess I just never expected you to admit it," Vic said thoughtfully. "I mean, with the rivalry we've had going, I just let you think I was still pining away for her..."
"You aren't?" Mac asked curiously.
"Nope. You know, having your heart crushed will turn you off of a relationship with someone," he added dryly. "She said 'postpone', but it was pretty clear pretty fast that we weren't together anymore. Besides," he shrugged, "I value the friendship we have now more than I did our relationship. It's more honest, I think. I always felt she was holding something back before, and it came between us on occasion."
Silence fell between them as they considered each other's words. Vic leaned back in his chair and sipped at his beer, letting his eyes linger on the other man. Despite all their bickering, he really did enjoy spending time with Mac. The man was charismatic, and fun to be with, and loyal. //So what if he is a thief?// Vic thought, //It's not like my fellow cops did well by me. He's a good friend.// Vic stifled a sigh. //Face it, Mansfield, friendship is not what you're feeling here.//
"C'mon, Vic," Mac said, standing.
"Where?" Vic asked.
Mac rolled his eyes. "To find a girl, of course. I don't know about you, but I'd rather walk into the Agency in two days with someone I picked out. Otherwise we could end up paired with someone like...Jackie," Mac shivered in distaste. "She's scary Vic."
Vic grinned. "Hey, it could be worse. The Director didn't say your partner has to be woman - you could end up with Dobrinski."
"Don't even go there!" Mac exclaimed, looking horrified. He pulled Vic to his feet. "C'mon. Ask someone to dance."
"Mac, a nightclub is not the place to go looking for your life partner," Vic protested.
"You never know 'til you try!" Mac called out over the music, even as he wondered at Vic's choice of words. //Life partner? Why not wife, or spouse? Odd that he should use the non-gender specific term...// The thief sighed inwardly even he smiled at a young woman and moved onto the dance floor with her. //This new policy of the Agency's is a disaster. It forces us into relationships we don't want, even as it gives me hope Vic might be...receptive.//
Looking over his dance partner's shoulder, Mac caught sight of Victor dancing with a woman even taller than he was. He suppressed a chuckle at the sight even as he felt a stab of jealousy go through him. He wanted to be dancing with Vic... The woman Mac was dancing with got tired of his distraction and walked away, shaking her head. Mac shrugged and looked around for another likely prospect.
Two hours later, Mac and Vic reunited at their table with fresh drinks. "Any luck?" Vic asked.
"Nah," Mac admitted. "I managed to 'pop the question', so to speak, to a few girls, but none of them were takers. I did get a few offers for the night, though."
"Same here. Like I said before," Vic shrugged. "People are here for one night stands, Mac." Vic watched Mac covertly. The other man's features were flushed from dancing, his eyes twinkled speculatively as he looked around the club and his lips shone moistly as he wrapped them around his bottle of beer. Vic didn't think he'd ever seen anything more beautiful. //What the hell,// he thought. //It's not like I'm going to have another chance.// "Hey, Mac," he yelled over the music, "you wanna dance?"
Mac smiled widely and set down his beer, "Sure!" Vic was surprised by Mac's easy assent, and grinned as he was hauled out onto the dance floor. The music had a heavy beat, and it quickly got into Vic's blood, pounding along with his heart. The ex-cop threw caution to the winds and wrapped his arms about Mac's neck, leaning in so that their foreheads almost touched as they danced. Mac put his hands on Vic's hips and drew him close.
Vic grinned as they danced, hardly able to believe how much fun he was having. Out on the dance floor all his fears about Mac's feelings - or lack of them - disappeared. There was only the exhilaration of dancing with the person he'd loved and wanted for so long. When Mac's hands wandered down to cup his ass, there was no tension, only an overwhelming feeling of rightness. Vic first leaned into the contact, and then pressed closer against Mac. Neither of them noticed when the first song blended into the second, and then the third.
Then the song they were dancing to flowed into the next, and still neither of them even thought of moving off the dance floor. The new song was full of brass, and hit emphatic peaks frequently. Vic saw a mischievous gleam in Mac's eyes, and the next thing he knew he was spinning out at the end of Mac's hand. He laughed and spun back. They danced on with the same playful flair and, as the song wound down, Mac dipped Vic dramatically. When he came up out of it, they clung to each other in helpless laughter.
Then, standing close, their arms wrapped around each other, they realized the new song was slow and sensual. Their laughter died as they looked into each other's eyes, but instead of leaving the floor Mac pulled Vic close and rested his head on the ex-cop's shoulder. Vic sighed and wrapped his hands around Mac's waist, enjoying the warmth of his body against Vic's own.
Near the end of the song, Mac turned his head and whispered to Vic, "Let's get out of here." Instead of responding verbally, Vic pulled Mac from the dance floor and grabbed both of their jackets on the way out the door. They had arrived in separate cars, but Vic was unwilling to leave Mac, so he followed the ex- thief to his car and slipped into the passenger seat.
Mac drove to his apartment fast, even faster than he usually did. They mood that had surrounded them on the dance floor persisted all the way through the drive and the elevator ride up to Mac's apartment, where it exploded suddenly into passion when Mac pulled Vic into a soul searing kiss. They kissed, open mouthed and passionate, until they were both gasping for breath. Vic's hands went to Mac's clothing even as Mac reached for his own. They got in each other's way quite a bit, but neither of them was willing to stop. More than one button went flying in their eagerness.
Mac led him by the hand to the bedroom where he pulled Victor quickly into his arms and kissed him again before pushing him down onto the bed and quickly following. Crouched over Vic, Mac grinned predatorily and dropped a quick kiss on his partner's lips before nibbling his way further down. Vic moaned deeply and caressed as much of Mac as he could reach. When Mac reach Vic's erection, he regarded it with satisfaction for a moment before he engulfed it in one smooth motion. Vic screamed with surprise and pleasure, his hands going to Mac's head as his hips jerked upwards.
"Wait, Mac," Vic gasped. Mac looked up, licking his lips. Vic moaned and then gasped out, "I--I want you to--to make love to me."
Mac slid up Victor's body and kissed him deeply before reaching over to the bedside table and withdrawing a tube of lube and a condom. Vic drew up his legs to expose himself for Mac, who squeezed out some lube and slicked one finger with it before pushing the finger into his partner. Already loose with desire, Vic pushed down easily on one finger, and two. He didn't take much longer with the third. "Come on, Mac," he begged, "make love to me now. Do it now."
Quickly rolling on the condom and slicking himself with lube, Mac slowly pushed his cock into Vic's body. Resting for a moment when he was completely encased in Victor's incredible tight heat, Mac moaned. "Move, Mac," Vic demanded breathlessly. Mac pulled nearly all the way out, and then slid back into the incredible grip of Vic's body. Obeying his partner's demands for more and faster, Mac pounded into his body and cried out with a passion that matched Vic's.
Vic came first and Mac soon followed, crying out Victor's name in answer to Vic's shout. Mac rested for a moment, sticky with sweat and semen, in his partner's arms before prying himself away to get them a cloth to clean up with. Tossing the cloth aside, Mac sank into Vic's embrace and let sleep claim him even as it had already taken Vic.
The next morning Mac woke and lifted his head sleepily from Vic's chest to find the other man already awake and watching him tenderly. "I love you," Mac murmured and kissed Vic good morning, surprised at how easily the admission came.
"I love you, too," Vic replied, smiling happily.
"You see," Mac said, his voice becoming a little smug, "I found my life partner in a nightclub after all."
"So you did," Vic said, laughing both with genuine amusement and relief that Mac felt the same way he did. "I can't wait to see the look on The Director's face. Of course, she probably knows already."
"Nah," Mac said, trailing his hands teasingly over Vic's chest, "I keep my apartment clean of bugs."
"Or so you think," Vic countered, but gave up in the face of Mac's renewed seduction.
The next evening Mac and Vic drove together to the Agency and found they were the last to arrive at the meeting. The Director had called each of them earlier, though she'd had to leave a message on Vic's machine, and told them to bring the person they intended to be paired up with. So, when just the two of them arrived she raised an inquiring eyebrow. The two men just grinned and seated themselves. Li Ann was there with an Asian man neither Mac nor Vic recognized and Jackie and Dobrinski were also present.
"Well, let's get stared," The Director said briskly. "Li Ann, if you would?"
Li Ann nodded and put her hand on the man's arm, "This is Peter Wu. We aren't engaged, but we do consider our relationship permanent." They smiled at each other.
It was Jackie's turn next, but Mac got the distinct feeling The Director already knew what the other woman was going to say. "Me and Dobrinski are together," Jackie announced. Dobrinski nodded confirmation.
The Director finally turned to them, "Well, boys? Am I correct in assuming neither of you has found someone?"
"Actually, no," Mac said smugly. "We've both got someone."
"And did you bring them," The Director asked impatiently.
"I'm with Mac," Vic said, bringing the exchange to a startled halt.
"Mac?" Li Ann asked in shock.
"You have no sense of the dramatic, Vic," Mac said, grinning. "Yeah, We're together."
"And this is a permanent relationship?" The Director asked skeptically.
"It is," Vic confirmed, glancing tenderly at Mac.
"Well, then." The Director paused then picked up her rhythm. "If that's settled, you can go, Peter. The team needs to get to work."
Peter left, and Mac and Vic grinned at each other, pleased that they'd managed to surprise even The Director.
After the team left, The Director allowed herself a satisfied smile. Her scheme had worked, although not quite in the manner expected. She'd expected to have to throw Mac and Vic together before they admitted how they felt to each other. It was a pleasant surprise to find they'd figured it out before she had to take that step.
Now maybe they could get some work done, instead of wasting energy on outward posturing and inward pining.